Picks by Steve Johnson
Last week was a tough one. Rodgers going down with a broken collarbone, ending any hope the Packers have. The Falcons blowing a 17-0 lead, getting beat at home, after a bye, by the Dolphins!? The Jets giving the Patriots a scare going up 14-0, ultimately losing the game on a questionable call. And somehow the Giants manhandling the Broncos. My picks went 3-6, down 7.4 units. Terrible week, but still up on the year and a really unpredictable week.
Thursday Night Football
Oakland +3 vs Chiefs 3 units
We’ve been pretty spoiled this year with Thursday Night Football. Typically these games are absolute shit, low scoring games. I feel like this is going to be one of those sloppy Thursday night football games. That’s why I’m taking the home underdog in a divisional game. The Raiders have been awful this year, I’m a frustrated Amari Cooper fantasy owner. The Chiefs however, are 5-1 and arguably the best team in the NFL. The Chiefs are coming off a loss where Chiefs Andy Reid was back to Eagles Andy Reid. The Raiders are desperate here, playing at home vs a division rival and short rest. I Think this will be a tight game, and I’m going to take the points and the home team.
Win, +2.7 units
Sunday Early Games
Ten -5.5 @ CLE 2 units
I picked Cleveland three times this year, and lost each time. I need to stop picking the Cleveland Browns, that is stupid. I think you can get some value at -5.5 with Tennessee. Even though it’s on the road, you’d have to think that the Titans can easily win by a touchdown. The public seems to be siding with the Titans, but this will probably be one of the least bet games of the week. Mariota is banged up, and it looks like Delanie Walker might not play, but again you’d think the Titans can beat the Browns by a touchdown, right? I’m going to wait for the injury report, but I think the Titans are a value play this week.
Update: Walker and Murray are both playing. I’m taking the Titans for 2 units
Loss, -2 units
IND +3 vs JAC 2 units
Last week I picked against the Jags, because I think people were overreacting to the win vs the Steelers. As I predicted, the Jaguars lost to a team that people should be giving more credit to in the Rams. I don’t think the Jaguars should be a 3 point favorite on a neutral field. That’s not saying the Colts are any good, they suck too. This is just an absolute garbage football game. I’m sure the Brits are super thrilled about this game coming over, thanks Roger Goodell! I’m not even going to get too deep into this game, just don’t bet it.
Update: I am going to bet on this game after all. Fournette is out and it’s worth taking a stab at betting against the public betting the Jags at -3.
Loss, -2 units
BAL +4.5 @ MIN
The Vikings just came off a big win, in which they knocked out Aaron Rodgers for the year. While Baltimore, just lost in overtime to a rookie QB at home. Earlier in the week, it looked like the Ravens were going to be missing basically their whole team, as of Sunday morning it’s looking a lot better. Jeremy Maclin and Mike Wallace are expected to play on offense, as are Brandon Williams and Jimmy Smith on defense. The Vikings haven’t looked any different without Sam Bradford, probably because he’s nothing more than a game manager. With that being said, with Case Keenum or Sam Bradford, should the Vikings be giving 4.5 points? Their offense is pretty terrible, and the Ravens defense should look better this week. The total for this game is 38.5, telling me it’s going to be a close low scoring game. Take the Ravens and the points.
Update: Jeremy Maclin is officially OUT
MIA -3 vs NYJ 1 unit
Last week I picked the Falcons to blow out the Dolphins, and they were. I honestly stopped following the game because I thought the Flacons would continue to roll. I don’t think the Dolphins are legitimate yet, but I also don’t think they’re terrible. I do think they are better than the Jets, who got their heart torn out last week. The Jets did beat the Dolphins back in week 3, which was really their week 2 because the NFL made a horrendous decision with that Miami situation. The Dolphins were all out of sorts that week in New York, I think they somewhat have it together, or at least figuring it out.
TB +3 @ BUF
The Bucs are one of those teams you knew would be bet a lot early in the year, well that all changed last week when they got beat down by a bad Cardinals team. If the Bucs would’ve won in Arizona, it would be a prime spot to bet the Bills. The Bills are coming off a bye, and have had extra time to prepare for a banged up Bucs team. In my opinion this line should be higher than 3, so I’m going to stay away.
CHI +2.5 vs CAR 2 units
I should’ve got the line at 3 while it was still available, unfortunately it dropped to 2.5 this morning. Even though the Panthers are on extra rest after a loss, I still like the Bears here. They have a lot of confidence coming off an overtime win in Baltimore, and 2 good games played against Minnesota and Green Bay, despite the outcomes. The Bears are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 at home. The game is supposed to be windy and rainy and the Bears field is always complete shit even on a sunny day, so I think that gives them an advantage. The Panthers aren’t healthy. They’ll be missing Luke Kuechly, who unfortunately had yet another concussion. Their offensive line and Kelvin Benjamin are still banged up. I think John Fox will come up with a good defensive gameplan against Cam Newton. I was going to put more units on this game at 3, but at 2 it’s going to be a small play. While I’m on this game, does any heterosexual male actually think Cam Newton is a good dresser? If so, I’d like to hear from you. Sometimes he dresses like an old pimp and other times an old hooker. Here’s a few past outfits he’s worn.
Win, +2.7 units
GB +4 vs NO 3 units
Losing the best QB in the game is obviously a huge loss for the Packers, but I wouldn’t sleep on them. The public is overreacting to what the Saints did vs the Lions last week, completely ignoring that the Saints aren’t the same team on the road. Hundley had a bad game last week, there’s no denying that. But he was thrown into the fire and caught a lot of bad breaks. People forget that at one point, Hundley was looked at as a potential first round pick. He ultimately ended up going in the 5th round, but you can’t tell me he hasn’t learned from the game’s best. He’s going to be serviceable with his scrambling ability and with those talented wide receivers running wild on the Saints secondary. It looks like Bulaga and Bakhtiari will play, so that helps too. I like the Packers to cover in a high scoring game.
Loss, -3 units
LAR -3 and -162 vs ARI 3 units each
No shocker here that I’m on the Rams, as I’ve been all in on them this year. I’m not buying into AP being legitimate again, and the resurgence of the Cardinals. They’re not a good football team, and the Bucs were banged up and aren’t any good to begin with. The Rams however have some talent on the defensive side, an elite running back, a much improved offensive line, and most importantly they don’t have Jeff Fisher. People aren’t talking about the loss of Jeff Fisher as a positive because he’s a nice guy that’s been in the league for a long time, but he has always been completely overrated. Keep in mind that if this were being played in LA, it would be Rams -6. I like the Rams for multiple units here, and will also play the money line at -162.
Win, +4.6 units
Sunday Late Games
SF +6.5 vs DAL
The Cowboys are coming off a bye week, in which they lost tough games to the Rams and Packers in consecutive weeks. Normally you’d think this is a great motivator to a team, but the Cowboys? The Cowboys are a disaster right now with the whole Zeke Elliot thing. Not to mention that they were completely overhyped last year, got lucky breaks all last year, and they’ve been feeling themselves. Welcome back to earth Cowboys, you’re a slightly above average team. The public is all over the Cowboys, shocking I know. But I still can’t stomach taking San Fran. With a gun to my head, I’d probably take the Over.
CIN +3.5 @ PIT 1 unit
I don’t really care if the Steelers beat the undefeated Chiefs last week, they’re not the team we’re accustomed to seeing. That game could’ve gone either way, from Andy Reid mistakes to that Brown TD that should have been intercepted. The Bengals are coming off 2 straight wins and a bye week, giving them extra time to prepare for their hated rival. I think rivalries are sometimes overplayed, this isn’t one of those. These teams literally hate each other. I think this should be a close, low scoring game, as the total is 40. Both teams have banged up OLs and stout defensive fronts. I’ll take the points in that case, especially with the hook there. This line opened at 6 and is down to 3.5! It would’ve been really nice to get +6 here, but it seems the sharps are on the Bengals. I’m still going to take the Bengals, but not for what I would have at +6.
SEA @ NYG +3.5 Under 39.5 3 units
Another game I was too slow on, I have to do a better job at locking in prices. The Giants opened at +6 and was bet down to +3.5 . The Seahawks are not the same team they once were. They are banged up on defense, missing Lane and Bennett playing injured. The Seahawks offensive line is the worst in the league, not even Russell Wilson’s legs can save him. That’s going to be a big matchup, as the Giants D line is really good. I think this will be a low scoring game. Since I lost all the value on the Giants, I like the under 39.5.
DEN -113 @ LAC 4 units
The Chargers somehow have a 2 game win streak, but I don’t believe it’s for real. They beat a Raiders team that hasn’t been any good (until Thursday) and a horrendous Giants team (before Monday). Meanwhile, the Broncos just got embarrassed by the same Giants, the Chargers just beat. I still believe in the Broncos despite what they’ve done lately. They still have a really good running game and a great defense. That Monday night game was super weird, and I don’t think thats who the Broncos are. I like the Broncos a lot in this game, as I don’t think the Chargers should be getting the normal 3 points for being at home. People just don’t care about sports out there, it is what it is, get triggered if you want. Eagles fans took over that stadium 3,000 miles away, you’d have to think Broncos fans will make the short trip and make it feel like a home game. I expect the Broncos to win this game.
ATL @ NE -3
Monday Night Football
WAS @ PHI -4.5
Week 1: 1-2, -5.7 units
Week 2: 4-1-1, +14.2 units
Week 3: 4-4, +0.2 units
Week 4: 2-5, -5.6 units
Week 5: 6-1, + 9.5 units
Week 6: 3-6, – 7.4 units
Week 7: 1-0, +2.7 units
Year To Date: 20-19-1, +5.2 units